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Hepatitis B

hepatitis b

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B is transmitted when blood, semen, or another body fluid from a person infected with the virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through sexual contact; sharing needles, syringes, other injection equipment; or from mother to baby at birth.

For many, especially children, hepatitis B infection is asympomatic. For some people, including most infected in infancy, hepatitis B can become a long-term, chronic infection. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to serious health issues, like cirrhosis or liver cancer.

The first dose of hepatitis B vaccine is given at birth, with the three-dose series completed between 6 and 18 months of age. Older children and adolescents who did not previously receive the hepatitis B vaccine should be immunized.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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